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Thread: Question About ATF Seizure of an AR15 that was handed down to me..

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    Question About ATF Seizure of an AR15 that was handed down to me..

    I recently got into my possession a Bushmaster AR15 that my father owned from years past. I have yet to find any paperwork pertaining to it. It was missing the charging handle and other assorted parts so I brought it to my local gun shop for help. Within 35 minutes I received a call informing me that the ATF would be seizing it due to an illegal length barrel. They told me I have no option and that they will take the whole firearm, not just the upper receiver or barrel. Any help on this matter as to how I could possibly retain possession of my firearm would be greatly appreciated.

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    Call a lawyer. Now. As I understand it, you are open to prosecution for possession of a short-barrelled rifle while not also having the proper paperwork from BATFE.

    This is not just a matter of retaining a family heirloom; this is a matter of keeping you from being prosecuted. The BATFE is not an organization upon whose benevolence one wants to rely. All it takes is a ***** agent and you could be dealing with legal trouble.

    Then, ask a moderator to delete this thread so its not hanging out here for everybody in the world to stumble upon, including the government.

    Well, actually, before calling the lawyer, you might want to see if you can verify that the barrel is indeed a length that requires BATFE paperwork. This could be a gunstore screw-up.
    Last edited by Citizen; 04-09-2011 at 04:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Call a lawyer. Now. As I understand it, you are open to prosecution for possession of a short-barrelled rifle while not also having the proper paperwork from BATFE.

    This is not just a matter of retaining a family heirloom; this is a matter of keeping you from being prosecuted. The BATFE is not an organization upon whose benevolence one wants to rely. All it takes is a ***** agent and you could be dealing with legal trouble.

    Then, ask a moderator to delete this thread so its not hanging out here for everybody in the world to stumble upon, including the government.

    Well, actually, before calling the lawyer, you might want to see if you can verify that the barrel is indeed a length that requires BATFE paperwork. This could be a gunstore screw-up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Call a lawyer. Now. As I understand it, you are open to prosecution for possession of a short-barrelled rifle while not also having the proper paperwork from BATFE.

    This is not just a matter of retaining a family heirloom; this is a matter of keeping you from being prosecuted. The BATFE is not an organization upon whose benevolence one wants to rely. All it takes is a ***** agent and you could be dealing with legal trouble.

    Then ask a moderator to delete this thread so its not hanging here for everybody in the world to stumble upon, including the government.

    Well, actually, before calling the lawyer, you might want to see if you can verify that the barrel is indeed a length that requires BATFE paperwork. This could be a gunstore screw-up.
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    Sounds like this local gun shop isn't any friends of yours. They turned you in instead of first telling YOU of the problem. That's pretty low.

    1st, Why did you bring it to a gun shop for a few missing parts?

    2nd, Why did you leave it at the gun shop?

    3rd, Why didn't you check to make sure it was legal before taking it in public? Are you new to firearms?
    Last edited by Grimes; 04-09-2011 at 05:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Call a lawyer. Now. As I understand it, you are open to prosecution for possession of a short-barrelled rifle while not also having the proper paperwork from BATFE.
    Which is a federal felony offense... years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
    Last edited by Felid`Maximus; 04-09-2011 at 06:08 PM.

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    Are you people kidding?

    This guy had no criminal intent. He received a firearm that was passed down to him and he brought it to a gun shop to ask questions.

    I think the ATF is a horrible (and unconstitutional) government agency, but this guy couldn't be convicted of anything. You need to act knowingly or purposely with regards to possession of an unregistered firearm. He became aware of the firearm being prohibited after discussing it with a licensed firearms dealer. No jury would convict him.

    Why delete the thread? The ATF already is aware/has the firearm... so they already know about it. His posting here simply furthers my argument that he didn't act knowingly.

    To the OP: You may be able to register the firearm with the ATF. Call whomever you spoke to and tell them you would like to go through the process. They might be able to help you.

    Either help you or they'll send your gun to Mexico.
    Last edited by Highline; 04-09-2011 at 06:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highline View Post
    No jury would convict him.

    Why delete the thread? The ATF already is aware/has the firearm... so they already know about it. His posting here simply furthers my argument that he didn't act knowingly.
    Ignorance of the law is no excuse...

    And as is often the case, the BATFE would NEVER let this go to trial--they would just arrest him, charge him, and have him sentenced. Rule of Law does not apply in most BATFE proceedings.

    Welcome to the "Century of Change" folks...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    whoops...

    Just how long was the barrel on it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Ignorance of the law is no excuse...

    And as is often the case, the BATFE would NEVER let this go to trial--they would just arrest him, charge him, and have him sentenced. Rule of Law does not apply in most BATFE proceedings.

    Welcome to the "Century of Change" folks...
    FFL's are quasi government agents. This fellow bringing the firearm to an FFL would be like him showing up at an ATF office with a firearm, presenting it to them, and asking them about it.

    Once I was on-duty and some people showed up at the police station with five marijuana plants in the back of their car. They said they found them growing in the woods at their home... and wanted me to have them. Do you think if I had arrested them that they would ever have been convicted? Of course not.

    This guy wasn't trying to conceal anything, he had legitimate questions about a firearm that was given to him by a family member. Ignorance of the law may not be an excuse, but it can negate a state of mind which must be proven for criminal conduct to be proven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highline View Post
    Ignorance of the law may not be an excuse, but it can negate a state of mind which must be proven for criminal conduct to be proven.
    Where does it say that a 'state of mind for criminal conduct' must be proven when possessing an illegal/restricted firearm?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    Where does it say that a 'state of mind for criminal conduct' must be proven when possessing an illegal/restricted firearm?
    actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highline View Post
    actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea
    Yeah good luck with that.... in federal court, against the BATF....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    Yeah good luck with that.... in federal court, against the BATF....
    It isn't against the BATF in federal court, it would be against the respective US Attorney or US Attorney General. All BATF (and any other federal law enforcement agency) does is collect evidence, make arrests, and forward the case to the US Attorney/AG.

    Our judicial branch is a criminal defendant’s last line of protection against the erosion of criminal intent. Case in point, just yesterday, a federal judge threw out an indictment against a former drug company in-house lawyer who allegedly violated federal law by facilitating the “marketing” of a drug for an off-label use. According to Judge Roger Titus’s ruling memo, during the grand jury proceedings, one prosecutor misstated the law with regards to the advice that the defendant may have received from other lawyers about the off-label communications, while another prosecutor flatly told the jury the issue was irrelevant to their deliberations. Quite to the contrary, Judge Titus wrote, ”advice of counsel” is not only an affirmative defense, ”but rather negates the wrongful intent required to commit the crimes charged.” Whether the prosecutors were, as the defense counsel in the case alleges, intentionally misstating the law, or were just negligent in doing so was not clear. Judge Titus dismissed the charges on that basis, though he did allow the government to seek a new indictment.
    (from http://wlflegalpulse.com/2011/03/25/...d-to-prove-it/ )

    This guy brought a firearm he just received to a federal agent to seek advice.

    If I found an unregistered machinegun in the woods and picked it up and delivered it to a FFL, should I be arrested and thrown in prison? Come on.
    Last edited by Highline; 04-09-2011 at 07:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    The owners of the gun store had little choice. If the gun was illegal, it was just as illegal for them to possess it as it was for the OP to possess it. BATF has been known to conduct sting operations like this.
    I'm not sure why you posted that to me?? I didn't make any comment regarding the gun shop, or their actions??

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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    The owners of the gun store had little choice. If the gun was illegal, it was just as illegal for them to possess it as it was for the OP to possess it. BATF has been known to conduct sting operations like this.
    I think the FFL did the right thing. The thing about criminal conduct is that here we have a guy who brings a firearm he just receives to a representative of the government.

    What if he called the ATF and asked them to come pick it up because he feared it was unlawful? Would he be subject to a successful prosecution for the time he spent with the gun till the time that it is picked up by the ATF?
    Last edited by Highline; 04-09-2011 at 07:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highline View Post
    It isn't against the BATF in federal court, it would be against the respective US Attorney or US Attorney General. All BATF (and any other federal law enforcement agency) does is collect evidence, make arrests, and forward the case to the US Attorney/AG.



    (from http://wlflegalpulse.com/2011/03/25/...d-to-prove-it/ )

    This guy brought a firearm he just received to a federal agent to seek advice.

    If I found an unregistered machinegun in the woods and picked it up and delivered it to a FFL, should I be arrested and thrown in prison? Come on.
    No... I'm not saying you 'should'. However I wouldn't be surprised if you were.

    Hopefully, for the sake of the OP, you are correct and all is well. I'm not that optimistic about it. (but at the same time I'll admit that I'm not that knowledgeable about this topic either....)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    No... I'm not saying you 'should'. However I wouldn't be surprised if you were.

    Hopefully, for the sake of the OP, you are correct and all is well. I'm not that optimistic about it. (but at the same time I'll admit that I'm not that knowledgeable about this topic either....)



    I think a solution to these types of problems is to enact a federal law (and 50 state laws) which require a judge to advise each jury of their right to nullify.

    www.fija.org

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    The OP has said nothing about an arrest, just the seizure of a firearm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flb_78 View Post
    The OP has said nothing about an arrest, just the seizure of a firearm.
    The OP said nothing, but the subsequent people who posted were worried that it would happen.

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    Several years ago a friend of mine purchased a nice Browning .22 semi-auto pistol from a guy he knew. It was not purchased from a gun shop, just a person to person transaction. He took it into a local gun shop a few years later to sell it on consignment. There was a police detective in the gun shop at the time and he happened to look over at the pistol and commented what a nice gun it was. Then he got this weird look on his face and asked my buddy if he could run a check on it. He did and found out the gun had been reported stolen several years back. My friend kind of freaked out and the detective told him he would have to confiscate the firearm. He asked him a few questions about who he bought it from and gave my friend his card and told him he would be in touch. My friend was not put in cuffs and taken away. Later he confirmed to a local non-black boot wearing FBI agent who he bought it from and that was that. No going to court and no jail time. They knew my buddy was not a criminal and they didn't give him a hard time or threaten him in any way.

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    We had this happen not to long ago in Madison, AL... an 80-something year old man brought in a gun to find out what it was worth, and it was discovered to be a 40-something caliber smoothbore revolver just over 12" in length.

    The ATF came looked at it, and they took it apart permanently to satisfy law.

    The gun store was powerless to do anything but seize the firearm. Their FFL requires it.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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    Just because some in law enforcement are good and use judgement does not mean all do. Counting on the benevolence of BATFE seems a great risk when weighed against the possible consequences.

    How is the possessor going to tell BATFE about his innocent aquisition without also waiving his 5A right to silence, violating half the advice given by Prof. James Duane in his video about talking to police? Even the truthful statements of an innocent witness can be used against him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Just because some in law enforcement are good and use judgement does not mean all do. Counting on the benevolence of BATFE seems a great risk when weighed against the possible consequences.

    How is the possessor going to tell BATFE about his innocent aquisition without also waiving his 5A right to silence, violating half the advice given by Prof. James Duane in his video about talking to police? Even the truthful statements of an innocent witness can be used against him.
    Not to mention that anything he says..... is going to point the finger towards his father.

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    Boycott any FFL that contacts ATF start hurting their business if they do. Make a statement for other firearms owners saying that we wil no longer stand for it There are plenty of other FFL that respect gun owners and not ATF

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